Ian joined Watsi on July 2nd, 2021. Two years ago, Ian joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ian's most recent donation supported Anne, a toddler born with a hole in her heart from Haiti, to support the expenses of cardiac surgery to repair her congenital heart defect.
Ian has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 10 countries.
Ian has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 10 countries.
Anne is a toddler from Haiti. She lives with her parents in Port-au-Prince; her father is a civil servant and her mother is a homemaker. She is their first child. Anne was born with a congenital heart defect called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Because the surgery that she needs is not available in Haiti, Anne will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 13th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to help pay for the surgery. Anne's family needs help to fund related expenses for her care. The $1,500 will help cover the expenses of labs, medicines, and checkup and follow-up appointments. It will also go toward the expenses of obtaining passports and the cost of social workers from our medical partner who will accompany Anne's family overseas. Anne's mother said: "My husband and I have been very afraid for Anne's life since we got this diagnosis. We are very hopeful that we can stop worrying after her surgery!"
Mekides is a 2-year-old toddler and the youngest of four who lives with her family in Ethiopia. Her father is a traditional farmer, while her mother is a homemaker. She loves milk, playing ball, and laughing with her mom and dad. She feels so happy when her dad brings home a new pair of shoes and a dress for her. Mekides was born with a birth defect called Hirschprung disease. She has an abnormally functioning segment of her bowel. This condition has been a struggle for the family to cope with. Mekides previously underwent a colostomy creation and now needs a colonic pull-through, where the diseased section of her intestine will be removed and the healthy portion will be pulled down. Doctors with our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) will perform this surgery on July 25th and are requesting $1,500 to fully fund the procedure. This surgery will help Mekides thrive with the other children in her village. Mekides' dad said “After her treatment, I believe she will heal. I will not give her the duty to do labour work as other girls have in my area. But I will educate her. I will work hard to upgrade her life and give her a quality life. I gave her to God, believing God will lead her to a better future.”
Daw Toe is a 70-year-old woman who lives with her husband in Burma. They are both retired farmers. Daw Toe likes to cook and sew clothing during her free time. Daw Toe has started to experience severe lower abdominal and back pain. When she walks long distances, the pain increases in her back and abdomen. She also has symptoms when using the restroom. Daw Toe has been diagnosed with kidney stones and swelling in her left kidney. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of a nephrectomy for Daw Toe, an operation to remove her left kidney, scheduled for June 12th. Daw Toe said, “I feel so sad since I have no money to pay for my surgery cost... Now, I feel a little bit better and I hope I will recover quickly after surgery. I thank everyone for helping me.”
Helen is a young student from Haiti. She lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; she is in first grade and likes her math and reading classes. Helen has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to be oxygenated, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery that Helen needs is not available anywhere in Haiti, so she will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On May 22, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in her heart to close it. Another organization, HeartGift Foundation, is contributing $14,000 to pay for surgery. Helen's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Helen's family overseas. Helen's father said: "Our family is all very excited and hopeful to know that our daughter's heart can be fixed soon!"
Zaw, who is 29 years old, lives with his wife and extended family members in Karen State, Burma. He and his wife are currently unemployed, although Zaw hopes to work as a second-hand motorbike seller. Zaw has had an irregular heartbeat since he was 10 years old. Although he visited a local clinic as a child, he was never provided a definitive diagnosis. By January 2022, he began to experience fatigue. His back and neck were stiff, and he lost his appetite. He also had difficulty sleeping, experienced a persistent cough and body aches, and his lips turned blue. After multiple hospital visits, Zaw was told he had a heart condition that required surgery. Unable to afford surgery in Burma, Zaw sought affordable care at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, he received a free echocardiogram, which revealed he had mitral valve regurgitation, atrial valve regurgitation, pulmonary valve regurgitation, and patent ductus arteriosus. He is now scheduled for a procedure at Kasemrad Prachachuen Hospital in Bangkok on April 18th to repair or replace three of his valves and address any other issues with his heart. Currently, Zaw continues to experience fatigue, thus he is unable to work. He experiences shortness of breath and a racing heartbeat, for which he requires oxygen therapy three times a day. He needs your help to raise the $1,500 to fund his life-changing surgery. Zaw said: “I want to be free from this disease as soon as possible. Thank you all for helping with my treatment cost.”
20-year old-Evans, who recently finished school and began working as a motorbike rider, lives in Kenya with his parents and two younger siblings, who are still in school. Evans was riding his motorbike on March 4th, 2023, when he was hit from the side by another vehicle. He was not able to stand on his own or to bear weight on his left leg following the incident. In addition, he lost a significant amount of skin on his leg and foot. Bleeding and in severe pain, Evans was rushed to a facility in Kiambu town where an X-ray was performed. The results revealed a fractured bone that required immediate attention. While Evans' wounds were debrided and irrigated, he was told that he is in need of skin grafting and additional debridement to prevent infection. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Evans receive treatment. On March 17th, surgeons at AIC Kijabe Hospital will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help prevent infection and save his leg. Now Evans needs your help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Evans says: “I had just started this boda-boda job to help my parents. Unfortunately, I got into an accident that made me unable to walk. I need this surgery to heal this wound.”
Erick lives in a neighborhood on the outskirts of La Paz with his mother and his grandparents, who help take care of him while his mother works in the market. He was born with three different holes in and near his heart; as a result, blood leaks through these holes, and his heart cannot deliver enough oxygen to his body. Thankfully, our medical care partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, has been of great help and has helped Erick and his family receive the right medical attention. During his surgery, doctors will close all three holes to ensure oxygen-rich blood circulates throughout his body and he is able to grow into a strong young boy. On February 17th, Erick will undergo cardiac surgery at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría in Bolivia. His family needs financial assistance to cover the $1,500 cost of this life-saving procedure. His mother shared, "I almost gave up hope that my son could live, and I am so thankful to everyone who is giving him this chance!"
Meet Gianna, a lovely, four year old girl from Kenya. Gianna lives with her grandmother, while her mother works at a local hotel, and her father is a casual laborer on construction sites. Gianna was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease. A child born with this condition has soft bones that break easily. Gianna has never walked, and lives in near constant pain. When she did try to walk using support, she fractured some bones. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Gianna access the care that she needs. On January 16th Gianna will undergo a procedure at AIC Cure International Hospital, that will provide greater support for Gianna's bones, and which may even enable her to gain sufficient strength to walk. Gianna's family is seeking your support to fund the $1,224 needed to pay for the surgery. Gianna's grandmother said: "Gianna has never walked, and my desire is to see her walk like other children. Your financial support to help her undergo surgery will be greatly appreciated."
Irenea is a 60-year woman from the Philippines. She takes care of her grandchildren and helps with household chores. Her daughter, a vendor, and her son-in-law, a baker, support the family financially. In February 2022, Irenea began to experience troubling symptoms, including intermittent fever and episodes of blood in the urine. She sought a medical checkup and underwent an ultrasound test. The test revealed that she was suffering from gallstones. She opted to take medicine in the hopes that it would cure her condition. Unfortunately, her condition seemed to worsen over time. Irenea has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Irenea is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on December 16th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $826 to cover the cost of Irenea's surgery and care. "This treatment is almost impossible for our mother to receive. Our financial resources are insufficient, so we're incapable to pay for her hospital bill," Irenea's daughter shared tearfully. "To WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines, thank you for this early Christmas gift! Our family is so happy to be one of your beneficiaries," she added.
Swe lives with her parents and her son in a village in northern Burma. Her father is subsistence farmer, her mother owns a small weaving business where traditional Burmese blankets and sarongs are hand woven. Her son goes to school and Swe is a homemaker. In her free time, she enjoys visiting and talking to her friends in their village. In December 2021, Swe began to experience fatigue, sweatiness, vomiting and difficulty breathing. She also had a headache and a stiff neck. At first she could not travel due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, but eventually went to Mandalay in August to seek help. At a hospital, she received an echocardiogram and was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis and aortic valve regurgitation. She was told she would need surgery costing 15 million kyat (approx. $15,000 USD), but she could not afford to pay for it. She then went to Yangon with her son, in the hopes of finding another hospital that cost operate on her for less money. While in Yangon, her condition deteriorated and her son rushed her to a hospital. The doctor there confirmed her diagnosis and her need for surgery, but told her it would cost 20 million kyat (approx. $20,000 USD). When Swe told the doctor that she could not afford to pay such a large sum, the doctor referred her to an abbot, who in turn referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial assistance accessing treatment. Currently, Swe cannot walk for more than 10 minutes or she feels very tired and short of breathe. She has a rapid heartbeat, dizziness and headache. She said, "I want to say thank you so much to BCMF and all the donors to help me with my treatment cost.”
Priscillar is a 50 year old single mother, living in Kenya. She has a small area in her ancestral home where she does small scale farming for personal use, and can occasionally sell extra produce at the local market. For ten years, Priscillar has been experiencing heavy bleeding. She has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, a condition that usually develops during a woman's childbearing years. Fortunately, the condition is benign, but it has made Priscillar uncomfortable about being in public places. Priscillar will need to undergo a hysterectomy, to have her uterus removed and fully heal. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,260 to fund Priscillar's surgery, scheduled for October 27th, at AIC Kijabe Hospital. After she has recovered, Priscillar should be able to resume her life free from pain, and free of the constraints that have kept her from going out in public without discomfort. Priscillar says: “I have been experiencing heavy bleeding for the last ten years. It is really uncomfortable and makes me ashamed. I hope to get the problem solved.”
Samuel is a 38 year old casual laborer and single father of one son, who is six years old. As Samuel's income is modest, both he and his son live with Samuel's parents in Malawi. Samuel enjoyed good health until April 2022. He was visiting relatives at a distance from his home, when he developed a cough and lost his voice. He was treated for his cough, but in June, he noticed a small, painful swelling on the right side of his neck. Although he went to a local hospital, nothing was done, and the swelling continued to grow, causing Samuel more pain, difficulty swallowing, and occasional breathlessness. After visiting numerous hospitals, Samuel finally went to Partners in Hope Medical Center, where tests revealed the existence of a goiter on his thyroid gland. As the goiter was fast growing, the surgeons informed Samuel that he would need to have a thyroidectomy, to remove all or part of the thyroid gland. Thanks to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Samuel is scheduled to have surgery on October 4th, at Partners in Hope Medical Center. After the procedure, Samuel will be able to return to his work, and to caring for his child, which he has been unable to do since falling ill. Samuel and his family are seeking $1,015 to help fund Samuel's care. “I wish to get better and look after my child,” said Samuel while looking worried.